Thunderstorms batter Istanbul

Heavy rain struck Turkey's largest city, the latest example of extreme weather

Heavy rain struck Turkey's largest city, the latest example of extreme weather

ISTANBUL – Driving rain, strong winds and prolonged lightning disrupted traffic in Turkey’s biggest city on Thursday, causing misery for thousands of commuters trying to get home.

Flights to and from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport were temporarily suspended and poor conditions led to a six-car pile-up in the city’s Kucukcekmece district.

No fatalities have been reported.

Some underpasses were submerged by water in Avcilar district, Anadolu Agency correspondents reported. 

The Turkish Meteorological Service said the Marmara region, which contains the cities of Istanbul and Bursa, could face disruption.

On Saturday, a tornado and torrential rain caused flash flooding in Istanbul although no serious damage was reported. 

Tornadoes are not unknown in Turkey, occurring mainly in the south. Between 1980 and 2013, 59 tornadoes were recorded across Turkey, according to the State Meteorological Service. Only one is recorded in Istanbul during this periods while 26 hit the southern Mediterranean city of Antalya.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency